4 ways to grow a winning culture at your MSP

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Developing a team that sticks with your MSP is no small task. But there is one secret ingredient you may be overlooking: building a winning culture.

I want to talk about MSPs’ “revolving door” problem. It’s a chronic issue for business owners right now; 40% of workers last year quit their job within the first 12 months. 

If you struggle with keeping employees on your staff, all is not lost; there’s something you can do about it. It can be easy to blame a more entitled generation of workers that want to work remotely and demand higher salaries, but trust me, that line of thinking won’t help you build a better staff. 

I would know—I founded TLC Tech nearly two decades ago and have learned the hard way that developing a team that sticks with the company is no small task. That’s why I co-founded Scaled to help connect similar MSPs with the talent they’re looking for. 

Here’s the secret ingredient you may be overlooking: culture. There are two key mistakes we see MSPs make all the time:

  • They do not intentionally develop or manage a culture for their business
  • They do not consider whether a new hire will match their culture when they join the staff

The mistakes invariably lead to chronic staffing turnover, for a number of reasons…

The consequences of bad (or non-existent) business culture

All about the money

If you don’t give your staff a reason to do their job other than money, they’ll quickly be lured away by more lucrative work.

Yes, I’ll admit, you can never fully factor compensation out of the conversation when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent. However, so long as you’re paying a competitive wage, the employee in question should be willing to take other factors into consideration. There should be other qualities specific to your MSP that make your staff members feel engaged, supported and valued. 

Consider the following:

  • Do your staff members have the means to provide feedback about both their work experience and the MSP as a whole, and feel that it is being heard?
  • Do you offer your staff members opportunities to enrich their skills, expand their knowledge, and become better at their jobs?
  • Do you promote a social and friendly workplace?

The core idea here is that if your staff members only show up in order to earn a paycheck, then you’re not really making a strong case for them to stick around. Remember, the demand for skilled tech workers is extremely high right now, which makes it easy for valuable employees to find other jobs. Your culture should make a compelling case for them to stay at your MSP. 

Poor client experience

Don’t forget about how a fluid staff affects your clients’ experience. If an end user has to talk to a new technician everytime they file a support ticket, they’ll get frustrated sooner or later. 

Having a consistent point of contact ensures a smooth and efficient communication process. When clients have a dedicated team of people to reach out to for support, they can easily convey their issues, concerns, and requirements without having to repeat themselves to different individuals. This saves time and minimizes the chances of miscommunication or misunderstandings.

Furthermore, a consistent staff builds trust and strengthens the client-provider relationship. By having a familiar face or voice to interact with, clients feel more comfortable and confident in sharing sensitive information about their IT infrastructure or business operations. This trust is essential for MSPs to effectively understand and address their clients' unique needs, leading to better service delivery and customer satisfaction.

Don’t forget about the benefits that consistency in staffing can bring to your team as a whole as well. The less turnover there is on your team, the better each member can work with one another. This only further improves service quality across your business. 

The recipe for a winning culture at your MSP

Developing an effective business culture at an MSP that encourages staff members to stay and discourages job-hopping requires a thoughtful approach:

Social atmosphere

Creating a social and friendly atmosphere is crucial to your culture. Encourage team-building activities, both within and across departments, to foster camaraderie and a sense of belonging. 

Furthermore, when it comes to remote employees, you must insist that all staff members have their cameras turned on when you have video meetings. You would be shocked how many MSPs we meet that regularly have camera-less video calls with their staff members. This is a surefire way to disengage meeting attendees and an outright failure to take advantage of conventional technology. 

Ask for and provide feedback

Establish channels for open and honest communication, such as regular team meetings, suggestion boxes, or anonymous surveys. Actively listen to employee concerns, suggestions, and ideas, and take appropriate actions to address them. This shows that their opinions are valued and helps create a culture of continuous improvement.

Prioritize professional development

Offer training programs, workshops, or certifications that align with employees' career goals and the needs of the MSP. Encourage employees to pursue further education or attend industry conferences. Providing growth opportunities not only enhances their skills but also shows that the organization is invested in their long-term success.

Recognize and reward 

Implement a performance recognition program that acknowledges outstanding work and provides incentives for high performers. Celebrate milestones, both personal and professional, to foster a sense of accomplishment and appreciation.

By fostering a social and friendly environment, actively seeking employee feedback, encouraging professional development, and recognizing achievements, an MSP can cultivate a business culture that motivates staff members to stay and thrive within the organization.

Don’t let your culture be the problem

The bottom line is that building the best possible team at your MSP is about more than recruiting, training and management. You need a winning company culture to boot.

In the process of growing your MSP, you’ll encounter a number of bottlenecks; while many successful MSPs manage to overcome the primary challenge of growing their customer base, many fail to properly address the second: building an engaged, capable and effective team.

If you’re having trouble finding the right talent, or you’ve found it but you can’t match it to your culture, I may be able to help. Send me a message on LinkedIn and Scaled will connect you with the talent you’re looking for, as well as share some hard-earned insight about culture development. 

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